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Russian Doping Scandal: World Athletics Federation Extends Russia's Suspension

Russia's athletics federation is not allowed to return to the world federation even six years after the doping scandal was discovered. But there is "light at the end of the tunnel".

Russia's athletics federation Rusaf is still suspended from the world athletics association World Athletics (WA) because of nationwide doping. That was decided by the 53rd WA Congress. At the digital meeting, 126 delegates approved a corresponding motion, 18 against.

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The reason for the exclusion is an organized doping system in Russian athletics that became known six years ago. The Rusaf Association has therefore been suspended from the world association since November 2015, and one year later the Russian athletes were banned from the Olympic Games. 

The world association, however, expressly praised the development of the Russian association in recent months. "The important milestones have been set. The task force also has the feeling that these changes reflect a new culture at Rusaf," said Rune Andersen, head of the world association's Russia task force.

The new Rusaf leadership around the new President Irina Priwalowa shows that she wants to lead the reform process. But there are still a number of people who would not have accepted this new culture, said Andersen when presenting a report by the task force .

President of the world association sees "light at the end of the tunnel"

"Progress is good, but there is still a lot to be done. The last few months have strengthened optimism," said WA President Sebastian Coe. "We're moving in the right direction and we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel."

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Privaleova was optimistic that Russia will be able to return to the world federation in the coming years. "We are on the way to becoming a clean member," said the Olympic champion over the 400 meter hurdles in 2000. "The resumption of Rusaf is my personal goal."

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